In Transit – the making of the cover and editor’s letter

In Transit – my dissertation project. A travel-based magazine which focuses on the lifestyle and culture of places abroad as well as hard-core travel.

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I won’t lie: it was a horror designing the cover for In Transit. Anna and I had picked out a whole smorgasbord of images, but when we showed drafts to our tutor, they were shot down. For good reason mind you…sometimes the subject wasn’t conveyed through the image, sometimes we just missed our target audience, sometimes it just didn’t click. We hadn’t even thought of using this image – the buffalo and a somersaulting Indian man – as the cover. But we were desperate and sent this one across for feedback…and our tutor Peter Genower, loved it. And so the cover page of In Transit was born.

It wasn’t too hard to get the font for the magazine though. Anna and I picked a few and were trying to compare which one fit best with our magazine. And again, we had input. Our personal tutor, Jonathan Foster, liked this font the best, even though we picked another one. He even asked Rich, the Journalism department’s IT go-to-guy, who picked this one out. It grew on us. Barbatrick was here to stay.

 

I enjoyed working on this page. Anna’s idea to use Polaroid-style photographs was brilliant, and we’ve kept that theme through the magazine as well. I thought it might look good with our names and details on a boarding card, although it was hard to find a decent image I could play around with in Photoshop. Overall, I do like the look of this page. But then again, I am biased 🙂

 

Next post: features I wrote for the magazine!

My brother: the actor!

Now, I love my brother very much. He’s the apple of my eye, my little pumpkin and a sweetheart. He’s also quite a fraud. And he pulls wool over my Mom’s eyes, and sometimes mine, quite convincingly. He’s a class actor in his own right.

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Case #1: Wearing shoes

Karan is quite capable of wearing his own shoes. Velcro ones that is; he can’t handle lace shoes whatsoever because he doesn’t understand how to tie them. Which is why we get him velcro shoes and sandals only. Anyway, he’s learned how to wear them, so you’d think he’d wear them on his own all the time. Right? WRONG.

When Mom tries to make him wear his shoes, or I do, he fumbles. And crumbles. And cries. And tries OH-SO-HARD but those shoes will stubbornly not go on his feet and we end up making him wear them.

In school, when his teacher tells him to do it however, they go on OH-SO-QUICKLY. I saw this for myself two days ago, when Chirag was at our house. We were getting ready to go out and I, in a fit of laziness, asked him to give Karan his sandals so I could make him wear them in a bit. Chirag told Karan to wear his shoes. I protested saying he wouldn’t do it. Thanks Karan, for proving me wrong. That little acting hulk (read: Karan) just opened up the velcro at Chirag’s urging and slipped his sandals on just fine, thank you very much. No crying, no protests, no tantrums. That’s it, I’m going military on you Karan. Watch out…I know you’re acting!

 

Case #2: Eating food

Karan can eat his food with a spoon. Me, I’m toughie on this. When I sit next to him, he scoops his food fine and eats it all and just struggles towards the end when there’s very little food left and slightly harder to scoop. When Mom’s next to him, he takes AGES and ends up making her scoop for him. That little actor.

And he can chew his food just fine. Didn’t he chew all those chicken kababs and Toblerone chocolate in a hurry two days back? Ummm yeah, not when it comes to food he doesn’t like. He’ll keep it in his mouth for ages and just stare at us with his mouth stuffed but NOT swallowing. Karan, eat those veggies NOW (those who know me might point out that I don’t eat any veggies anymore; I’ve done my time. It’s his turn now!).

 

Although, once he turns his Puss-in-Boots eyes at us … no, no, stay strong and firm Devina, stay strong and firm!

Let them stare if they want to.

Guest post by Adita Divecha, Karan’s mother

Karan never cries when he hurts himself.

What I mean is that if he bangs into a table or chair or if he falls he does not, like other kids, start crying or rub the area where he got hurt. He will just sit down somewhere and perhaps start playing with his ball or just lie down on the bed.

I come to know he has hurt himself only if I see a bruise after a few days. I don’t think he can relate the pain of hurting himself to crying. At times after I see a bruise on his body with any swelling and if I touch it, he has even started laughing hysterically.

Of course this does not mean that he never cries. He does cry at times, suddenly, without warning and starts hitting himself on the sides of his head. Sometimes so hard that his forehead and sides become red. At such times I feel so helpless…is his head paining? Or is it his stomach? Ears? Or is it because a sound upset him? Or the tone of my voice? All I can do is to stop him from hurting himself further is to hold his hands down and calm him down by speaking in a firm but calm voice. These episodes last for at least 30 minutes to one hour.

I have also found that he calms down faster if I sing his favourite songs to him. At times when I hold his hands down to stop him hitting himself , he grabs my blouse with his teeth as if to bite me. He has torn many of mine and Devina’s clothes like this. I used to get embarrassed earlier when he used to behave like this in public as people would stare at him as if he was badly behaved, but now I don’t care what they think.

Let them stare if they want to.

Devina Divecha, Postgraduate.

Apologies for such a bare blog for the last month. It was the push-to-shove time for me by way of the dissertation project, which I will be linking on the blog soon.

Creating a 112-page magazine is no mean feat, and I would like to thank my team-member, Anna (or @lilmsreporter as she is known on Twitter) for all the work she’s done, including sitting at a rickety internet café whilst on an island resort in the Phillipines to finish the project.

Twitterati who rose to the occasion when we had to commission pieces include: @chiragnd (Chirag Desai), who wrote our gadgets section and a sidebar for the cookery section; @TDAllonsy (Anastasia), an editor’s dream as I hardly had to edit her work, who pitched in for the book review at the last minute; @Rawat_Central (Dee Rawat) who wrote movie reviews on Eclipse and Toy Story 3.

The magazine created for the dissertation project is called In Transit, and is aimed at people between 18-35 years of age who love to travel. They can be students looking at a gap year, or people thinking of relocating abroad. The magazine focused on culture, lifestyle as well as travelling abroad. We had wonderful features in the magazine, which I will share with you once I link to the pdf online.

Sleepless nights, packets of chocolate Digestive biscuits and yummy Haribos later, In Transit was born and with the submission of my portfolio a few days later, my Masters is now complete.

Here’s to a wonderful year at the University of Sheffield, and much love and thanks to the wonderful tutors I had over the entire year: Yvonne Illsley, Peter Genower, Jonathan Foster, Mark Hanna, David Holmes, Kaye Carl and Herman Wasserman. I’ve learned a lot from them and I’m going to miss them a lot.

Retrospective posts on the course soon – especially around graduation time in January 2011 – as well as uploading the magazine and my portfolio on the blog.

– MA Magazine Journalism postgraduate, 2009-2010